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Minas Tirith Forums » Silmarillion » Finarfin (Page 6)
Author Topic: Finarfin
Dark Lord Andúril
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quote:
He did nothing. And by doing that it can be argued that he was the greatest of the princes of the noldor.
History tells us that nothing is generally a cleaver thing to do and always a cleaver thing to say.
From: In Imladris I dwell... | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Turgon of Gondolin
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History tells us that doing nothing is clever?

Are you sure?

What if churchill had done nothing in ww2? id be talking german now.

I say on the contrary.

History tells us that something must me done. Doing nothing is the pacifist view.

Did christ tell us to 'do nothing if a man is dying next to you'?

What about the story of the good samaritan?

Back to the point about manwe being eru's representative in arda, that is true to an extent, however feanor was not to know that manwe was eru's word. Even if he did know, he only had the valars word for this, not erus himself. seeing as melkor was a valar you can understand why feanor started to mistrust the valar. I think people get feanor all wrong, they see him as evil. Manwe wept in aman not so mnuch for the destruction of the trees, nor for the teleri, but for the maming of feanor by melkor. Remember the bit that goes like 'manwe continued to weep for feanor was created mightiest in all parts of body and mind, in strength, in craft etc etc. and of all the deeds by melkor the maming of feanor was seen as one of the worst'.

It can be seen that manwe wept for feanor, if feanor was evil, why would manwe weep for him? did manwe weep for melkor or sauron or glaurung etc? no. (we are not told)

The maming of feanor was melkors doing, nothing to do with feanor. why dont some of you get this?

if you press a switch. the light turns on. you are responsible for the light turning on, not the light itself. Melkor mamed feanor's mind, thus he effctively switched the switch, it was such the fire and determination inside feanor that the only possible outcome would be for feanors oath. Illuvator made feanor the way he was, just like a bulb lights up when you press the switch (that is how man makes the circuit to work). It was melkor who twisted erus work, hence why this was all intwined into the music.

From: leeds | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Silmahtar
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Great thread! []

Tolkien is pretty explicit as to what he thinks of the Oath-takers:
quote:
The sons of Feanor take a terrible and blasphemous oath of enmity and vengeance against all or any, even of the gods, who dares to claim any part or right in the Silmarilli. They pervert the greater part of their kindred, who rebel against the gods, and depart from paradise, and go to make hopeless war upon the Enemy. The first fruit of their fall is war in Paradise,the slaying of Elves by Elves, and this and their evil oath dogs all their later heroism, generating treacheries and undoing all victories.
Converserly, this implies that for him Finarfin was definitely the "gentler gamester" and perhaps the noblest of Finwe's sons. (Of course, had the rebellious Noldor not returned to Middle-earth, they wouldn't have joined with the Edain to eventually produce Earendil. Then again, had they not rebelled, no mercy mission such as the Mariner embarked upon would have been necessary... )

And it was clear from the moment the rebellion began that Finarfin counseled patience and calm, but was unable to match Feanor's powerful influence over the Noldor. Finally, when he reluctantly joined, it was more out of a paternal instinct to help his people:
quote:
Fëanor and his following were in the van, but the greater host came behind under Fingolfin; and he marched against his wisdom, because Fingon his son so urged him, and because he would not be sundered from his people that were eager to go, nor leave them to the rash counsels of Fëanor. Nor did he forget his words before the throne of Manwë. With Fingolfin went Finarfin also and for like reasons; but most loath was he to depart.
For Finarfin, it was a difficult choice: let a good portion of his people leave -- perhaps forever -- under the rash leadership of Feanor and his sons, or join and in doing so, maybe exert some rational control over some portion of the Noldor. After the Kinslaying and the Curse of Mandos, he realized the extent to which Feanor and his Sons were prepared to go in securing their aims, which was an endeavor Finarfin in his conscious could not undertake.

But he is not blameless. After all, he, and those who returned with him, had to receive pardon from the Valar. I think he's given a second chance because IIRC he didn't actually participate in the Kinslaying -- I'm trying to remember where I read this...

[ 12-05-2005, 03:19 PM: Message edited by: Silmahtar ]

From: Vinya-Tárilos | Registered: Aug 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Thingol of Doriath
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quote:
But he is not blameless. After all, he, and those who returned with him, had to receive pardon from the Valar. I think he's given a second chance because IIRC he didn't actually participate in the Kinslaying -- I'm trying to remember where I read this...
I don't think Finarfin did participate in the Kinslaying. I'm not sure if it is stated anywhere, but we can look at the evidence from the Silmarillion:

quote:
Slower and less eagerly came the host of Fingolfin. Of those Fingon was the foremost; but at the rear went Finarfin and Finrod, and many of the noblest and wisest of the Noldor.
quote:
Thrice the people of Fëanor were driven back, and many were slain upon either side; but the vanguard of the Noldor were succoured by Fingon with the foremost of the host of Fingolfin, who coming up found a battle joined and their own kin falling, and rushed in before they knew rightly the cause of the quarrel.
-Finarfin was at the rear of the great host of Fingolfin.
-Fëanor's troops were saved by the Foremost of Fingolfin's host.

Therefore it is completely possible that Finarfin hadn't even arrived in Alqualondë before the battle was over...

From: Sverige! | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Silmahtar
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Ah, here it is, from UT:
quote:
Galadriel was the daughter of Finarfin, and sister of Finrod Felagund. She was welcome in Doriath,
because her mother Eärwen, daughter of Olwë, was Telerin and the niece of Thingol, and because the people of Finarfin had had no part in the Kinslaying of Alqualondë and she became a friend of Melian.

And in SIL, Angrod tells Thingol that Finarfin's people played no part in the Kinslaying:
quote:
'Lord, I know not what lies you have heard, nor whence; but we came not red-handed. Guiltless we came forth, save maybe of folly, to listen to the words of fell Fëanor, and become as if besotted with wine, and as briefly. No evil did we do on our road, but suffered ourselves great wrong; and forgave it.

From: Vinya-Tárilos | Registered: Aug 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Wandering Tuor
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I knew I had read that (UT quote) somewhere; thank you, Silmahtar.
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Roll of Honor Círdan
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This might be kind of a silly thing to write, so long after the fact.

But: I can't help but reflect on this and think that, of all of Tolkein's characters, there is something fascinating about Finarfin. He, almost singularly (there are others, I think), shows us a side of Tolkein's world that isn't emphasized a lot of the time. In the Lord of the Rings, and in most of Silmarillion, the world is pretty flatly Manichean. Good things fight bad things, and that struggle establishes history. Good men, good elves, bad men, bad elves. Orcs. Dragons. This is a familiar formula, and not one that makes Tolkein's world what it is.

I'll hazard a claim: what makes Tolkein's world more complicated is that the simple Manicheanism of the standard fantasy novel is interrupted (or infected) with figures like Finarfin. Years ago, I think I wanted to pan Finarfin as a spineless pacifist. Today, I don't think that's a particularly intelligent line to hold. Yes, Finarfin backed out of a deal. But the other thing he does is tell fate to go f*** itself. When it became obvious that leaving paradise was a bad idea, he decides to turn around, and anyone sane enough to follow followed. It isn't the sexiest of moves. In many important ways, he lets a lot of people down, leaves a lot of people hanging. But what I think is more interesting is that he is the one who ignores what everyone else takes to be inevitable. For every other character, fate is ruling events. Finarfin alone is the one with it enought to reflect on where he stands, on how things are going, and decide on his course of action intelligently.

What I like about Finarfin is that he, very uniquely in Tolkein, serves as the sort of character that keeps the fate of things to come open.

-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-
In Autumn most of all do they come out, for Autumn is their season, fallen as they are upon the Autumn of their days. What shall the dreamers of the earth be like when their winter comes?

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White Gold Wielder
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Very well put. You've given me something to think about. []
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Belthronding
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Few are those praised for turning down a fight. In Tolkien as in life.
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CALVUS
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The blemish on Finarfin is that he chose to press on despite learning his blood relatives had killed his relatives by marriage, and only turned back after Mandos spelled out what was in store for those choosing exile or even those helping them, themselves being innocent of the kin slaying (like Dwarves or men, not only elves).

On the other hand, he was in a position to plead the case of the Noldor, and lead those who had initially stayed back, choosing not to leave at all when the Noldor started out, fulfilling his duty as a Prince. Had he refused to leave from the start, his character would be more angelic and that of a spineless pacifist, but his chose of not daring to test the warning makes him more of a pragmatic pacifist.

[ 06-05-2015, 11:47 PM: Message edited by: CALVUS ]

From: BANGLADESH | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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